Stretch Marks

Reducing Stretch Marks Appearance

Stretch marks, they can result from a variety of factors such as pregnancy or rapid weight loss & weight gain. The medical term for this is striae and they are actually a form of skin scarring. The skin has been stretched beyond its normal limits and the connective fibers in the skin snap. When these fibers break the skin cannot function normally and the collagen that gives the skin its elasticity cannot be produced.

Certain types of people are more prone to stretch marks than others: Most girls and women have stretch marks which tend to show up on the breasts, thighs, hips and butts. Many women get them during pregnancy. People who are obese can often have stretch marks as well. Body builders are also prone to stretch marks as well due to the rapid body changes that body building can produce. In addition to this, individuals that use steroid containing creams for more than a few weeks can also have stretch marks.

The best way to treat these stretch marks is to start taking care of them when they first appear. Research has shown that when they are still red or purple, they most readily respond to treatments. When the stretch marks approach the later stages, such as when they become white or silver (with deep indentations) they are much more challenging to treat. Many products claim to “repair” stretch marks, but only some work.

Wheat Germ Oil: A recent study found that they helped improve the appearance of stretch marks in their early phases.

Glycolic acid: Works on stretch marks by boosting collagen production. These can be administered in high doses by dermatologists. These are expensive treatment and may take a few applications before the effects are visible.

Vitamin C: 500 milligrams three times a day can increase collagen production and reduce early stage stretch marks.

Laser Treatments: These are the most popular and are being tried on stretch marks. These vascular lasers target swollen and inflamed blood vessel in order to help with skin cell production and increased collagen production. Treatments for these are often the most expensive but can provide the best results, but don’t expect perfection.

It should be noted that any creams that claim to eliminate stretch marks are mostly ineffective. The laser treatments are not recommended to individuals in their teenage years because they are still growing and more stretch marks could arise after treatments are performed. One should consult with their primary care physician before undergoing these treatments in order to understand the risks and precautions that should be taken.

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